Admit it. We've all been there when we're going about our day and then it hits us: It's V-day and you've done zilch!
If you've left shopping to the last minute, fret not! It might be time to revisit the classics and go with a robust and reliable present. Or for some, creative juices flow best under pressure. If you're not amongst the latter, here's a cheat sheet of gifts that will make your loved one swoon, even if you're short on time.
For the one with a sweet tooth
George Bernard Shaw was onto something when he said, "There is no sincerer love than the love of food." Get your significant other sweet treats such as cupcakes, cakes or cookies to show them you care. It will be love at first bite! Depending on the time crunch, you can give baking a go, provided you have a couple of hours to spare. Cupcakes and brownies are your best bet since they're relatively simple. Even if they turn out horrible, your partner will appreciate the effort. After all, it's the thought that counts!
However, if you don't want to risk it, head over to The Cakery for their 50 Piece Valentine's Variety box or get cupcakes from Pane & Amore and frost them with heartfelt messages. Cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon are an acquired taste but if your special someone is a fan, then you can substitute the traditional sweets for those!
For the workaholic
Give your loved one a chance to kick back and relax! Get a gift voucher from a salon/spa and let them unwind. Various beauty salons in the city such as Raintree Mini-Spa, Saman's Salon and Hina Khan's Studio are offering some incredible value for money deals.
Better yet, plan a spa date for the two of you! Head over to Sephorah Salon and get pampered together! Book a couples massage, along with manicures and pedicures. This salon in particular does unique nail art which the women will love.
Workaholics also love getting gadgets since they're always on the go. If you're feeling super guilty about forgetting Valentine's Day and are looking to splurge, get them a tablet, headphones or a portable charger for his/her phone and other gadgets from Media Center.
For the artistic soul
One thing your significant other will really appreciate is you taking an interest in their interests. If they're cultural and artistic, attend The Platoon's improv theatrical show, "Will You Be My Valentine?" at The M.A.D School on Saturday or go see Seemab Tariq's exhibition, 'She Loves Me She Loves Me Not' happening at Creative Gallery.
If you're into poetry, you can also hop over to Hazuri Bagh in Lahore and attend 'A tribute to Mirza Ghalib'. No matter what you do, it'll end up being a fun day out for you two to enjoy and connect on an intellectual level.
For the hopeless romantic
Like I said, it never hurts to revisit the classics! New kids on the block, Fika and Rosati Bistro have some great dinner deals costing a little over Rs. 2000 per head. You can't go wrong with a romantic dinner! Throw in flowers for the ladies (Zeritta Flowers, if you want to break the bank or Gizri roadside vendors for a traditional long-stemmed rose) and a cute mug/frame for the men and you've got a home run!
Some other romantic spots for a dinner date are:
The Patio (Karachi)
Cafe Flo (Karachi)
The Lahore Social (Lahore)
Cosa Nostra (Lahore)
Udon House (Lahore)
The Polo Lounge (Lahore and Islamabad)
Tuscany Courtyard (Islamabad)
Monal Tree House (Islamabad)
For the narcissist/shopaholic
You know what they say - self love is the best love. There's nothing wrong with being a little self-obsessed. Get your significant other a gift certificate from Scentsation where they can buy make-up of their choice and the men can cross off a cologne or two from their wish list.
In Karachi, Dolmen Mall is the one-stop shop for everything fashion related so if you're confident about how well you know your partner, go buy them clothes! Sapphire has launched a capsule Valentine's Day collection of trendy, flirty kurtas (Rs. 2600 - Rs. 4000) or head over to Chester Bernard and get your man a maroon shirt (Rs. 2700 and up) that makes him stand out!
If Karachi has Dolmen, Lahore has Mall of Lahore. Other than that, House of Aphrodite also stocks trendy statement accessories, which the woman in your life will love and Labels in Islamabad has clothing label, Muse in store. With their chic cuts and minimal design, it's nearly impossible that your gift will be disliked.
Although this day may be considered petty and pointless, remember that it's always nice to feel appreciated and show the people you love that you care. Keep in mind that it doesn't just apply to your betrothed or spouse. Take this day as an opportunity to be grateful for romantic love, as well as family love and platonic love.
With our busy schedules, we forget how the little things are the big things. Be thoughtful, be giving on this day in particular but live like everyday is Valentine's Day!